In our increasingly connected world, businesspeople are becoming more and more mobile – easily working remotely using their portable devices from locations other than the office. The International Data Corporation (IDC) predicts that “the U.S. mobile worker population will grow at a steady rate over the next five years, increasing from 96.2 million in 2015 to 105.4 million mobile workers in 2020.”
Significant strides in existing technology and the development of new technology and solutions have opened up countless avenues in how business is conducted and people connect. The fact that employees no longer have to be tethered to their desks has pulled the rug out from under traditional business practices, causing a substantial shift in the modern workforce.
The Internet of Things
The Internet of Things (IoT), a hot topic these days, has further spurred this shift. According to a report released in November 2015 by Gartner, “6.4 billion connected things will be in use worldwide in 2016, up 30 percent from 2015, and will reach 20.8 billion by 2020. In 2016, 5.5 million new things will get connected every day.”
Connectivity is everywhere – your home, your car and even entire cities. With employees becoming increasingly mobile while still being connected to an entire ecosystem of technologies, business processes are changing and organizations are beginning to reimagine their infrastructures. With the fast-growing number of consumer and enterprise devices connecting to the internet, the opportunities are exploding. These devices are able to transmit mega-data without human intervention, and in turn, communicate with one another and share information vital to profitability and efficiency – decreasing inaccuracies and upping overall productivity.
This increased flow of information and the ability of devices to talk to each other, generate data and process that information in useful ways has given the mobile employee the same access as office workers – all with the touch of a finger. The IoT enables devices (your iPhone or Android, for example) to "know" you, interacting with a whole slew of sensors that learn behaviors, transmit important information and act on your behalf.
Mobility, Connectivity and VoIP
Another factor in the business mobility trend is the evolution of technology such as VoIP and cloud-based technology, which allows workers to connect to a central system and access the same business tools and features as their office-based colleagues, from wherever they are based.
VoIP is already a force to be reckoned with on its own – a mighty and fast-growing business tool. It is ideal for supporting the mobile workforce as a facilitator of unified communications. Take an employee’s smartphone for example. It can be linked to their company’s phone system so that the on-the-go employee can receive messages, calls and voicemails, and can be set up for typical office functions such as video conferencing and email. With these tools, employees can stay fluidly connected from almost anywhere—an airport, a hotel lobby, a hospital, etc.—and still have options for single number contact and inbound and outbound dialing, all without losing voice and call quality.
More and more businesses are recognizing the benefits of a mobile workforce and are beginning to adjust their models accordingly. The expansion of IoT and VoIP capabilities will enable greater connectivity, allowing employees to even more easily connect with their colleagues, work smarter and increase productivity. Organizations will be able to improve efficiency and day-to-day functions, as well as overall business outcomes, ultimately making them more competitive. Get ready for the “office” of the future – it might be closer than you think.
To learn more about how differentiated, intuitive and affordable VoIP communications can help grow businesses, call us at 855-213-4374 or a request a quote.